Like any modern netizens that are moving towards an era of visual communications, you may like to throw one or two stickers into the midst of a dull conversation to spice it up in what is being called  “micro-entertainment“. But be careful when you do that in China, you may well start a doutu.

Digital expressions have had an amazing impact on the way people talk online. To look into the emerging vertical, we spoke with Grant Long, Chief Strategy Officer for BiaoqingYun, about how China’s digital expression industry is different from the U.S. as well as the unique opportunities coming inside and outside China.

Grant has years of experiences in the industry. He joined Chinese digital expression startup BiaoqingYun this year. Grant previously worked as Head of Strategy and Business Development for Swyft Media, which aims to evangelize emoji and visual expression in mobile messaging. After Swyft was acquired by Monotype, Grant continued his initial dreams of spreading the digital expression business around the globe and found his first stop in China, where the fast paced internet ecosystem was far ahead in the adoption of “biaoqing” (表情), a unifying term to describe stickers, animated GIFs, static shareable memes and more.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.